Italian Spaghetti and Meatsauce

Shelia Senghas


A Culinary Trip to Italy
Un viaggio culinario in Italia

I like to travel with my family to other countries by way of food. I try to choose one day each month and pick a country so that our evening meal is based on the ethnic foods from that region. Sunday, I invited my brother, his wife and his oldest son who is visiting from Las Vegas to join my husband, my mother, and I, for a culinary trip to Italy. I served Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic butter and French bread. I made French bread because my husband loves French bread, and it is a little easier than making Italian bread. Using colorful linens and tableware, I decorated the table using a theme that represents Italian culture, and with Italian music in the background, and a bottle of ‘vino,’ from the pantry, the evening was set for a meal from a distant land. There is nothing like, a large bowl of steaming pasta and meat sauce, the aroma of freshly baked bread, and glasses of wine, to enliven a family gathering. Everyone had a wonderful, fun, time. “Anda, not a onea spicya mea ta balla.” With wine glasses waving in the air, the evening ended as we all boisterously, sang along with one of my favorite singers, Dean Martin, and his beautiful rendition of, Arrivderchi a Roma!
Would you like to take a trip to Italy? Cook my recipe of Italian Spaghetti, bake a loaf of bread, throw in a dinner salad to compliment the spaghetti, uncork a bottle of wine and put a disk of Italian music in the cd player and wala! You will be transported to Italy and the only thing missing will be the gondola.

I learned to make spaghetti when I was twelve. My father always made the spaghetti at our house and he would let me help him. In my mid 20’s I met an Italian woman in the apartment building I lived in. She invited me over for supper one evening. When I entered through the door, the strong, pungent odor of garlic permeated the room. She greeted me and as I followed her to the kitchen she loudly and happily continued singing along to Italian music that was playing on her record player. I stood nearby her at the stove watching as she dropped her homemade spaghetti pasta into a pot of steaming water. In another large pot on the stove the spaghetti sauce bubbled and erupted into large steaming splatters. All the aromas made me feel as if I had been transported to her native country of Italy. When it was time to sit down and eat she piled our plates high with pasta topped with the meat sauce. She grated cheese over the top of the sauce from a large chunk of parmesan. The whole experience was ethereal to me. In between large mouthfuls of pasta she told me about the foods of her region in Italy. Before I left I asked her to write the recipe for me and she explained, “It’sa all ina my thinking.” She told me the ingredients, and interestingly her measurements for the ingredients were all in pinches, and handfuls. I never forgot it and I have turned it into my recipe. Spaghetti has always been a favorite at my house, and though I have tweaked the recipe through the years, it is still a good representation of her Italian Recipe. This is one of the recipe’s I throw together without measuring. This time when I made spaghetti I measured the pinches and handfuls of all the ingredients in the amounts I normally used because I wanted to share the recipe. It turned out just as wonderful as all the other times I had made it. The evening ended as we sang along with one of my favorite singers, Dean Martin , and his beautiful rendition of, Arrivderchi a Roma!

pinch tips: How to Mince Garlic





1 Hr


3 Hr


Stove Top


1 lb
ground italian sausage
1 lb
lean hamburger
1 Tbsp
olive oil
1 large
3 clove
1 large
can of del monte traditional spaghetti sauce
8 medium
tomatoes, diced or 2 cans diced tomatoes
1 c
6 sprig(s)
fresh oregano leaves (discard sprigs) or 1 tbl. dried leaves
fresh basil leaves (discard sprigs) or 2 tbs. dried leaves
3 sprig(s)
fresh thyme leaves (discard sprigs) or1 tbs. dried thyme
3 sprig(s)
rosemary leaves (discard sprigs) or 1 tbs. dried rosemary leaves
2 Tbsp
italian seasoning dried leaves
1/2 tsp
cumin ground powder
1 tsp
black pepper ground
2 Tbsp
salt to taste
lg. pkg
spaghetti pasta
1 Tbsp
olive oil
parmigiano-reggiano, grated

Directions Step-By-Step

Put Olive oil in a large skillet, add the Italian sausage and the hamburger meat and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the onions and the garlic. Cook until the onions turn yellow, stirring often. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan add and mix the next 12 ingredients. Bring to a boil Cover with a splatter screen or a lid that is not on the pot tightly. Cook on medium for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding additional water, as necessary.
Add meat mixture to the sauce and cook for an additional hour. If the sauce is too thin after 1 hour continue to cook until it is thickened.
Remove from the heat and remove the garlic cloves.

For Spaghetti Pasta:
Fill a large pot with water, add 1 Tbs. olive oil, bring to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions
To Plate: Put a pile of spaghetti pasta in the center of the plate and ladle spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Hashtags: #Garlic, #sauce, #meat, #tomatos